Are AndresenTysons Corner Real Estate For Sale
your sixth sense in real estate
Purchasing a home is a large commitment. At Soldsense Realty we have a proven plan that will help you find that great special home you are dreaming of.
When working with Soldsense you will appreciate the enthusiasm and experience we share with all our clients. Make sure to check out the 5 Reasons Soldsense Rocks For Home Buyers!
Here are our 8 Simple Steps For Buying A Home With Soldsense:
- Assess Your Ability – How Much Home Can You Afford?
The first step in a home search should be to contact a reputable lender with a proven track record. We work with lenders that fit that criteria all the time and will be happy to share our experiences with you. Based on your circumstances, one lender may be better than another. You may also have a Credit Union or lender you have an existing relationship with – in some cases that may be a good option as well. Regardless of whom you choose, your choices in regards to type of loan, down payment and loan amount will influence everything that follows.
Tip: Keep in mind that the lowest rate published on a lenders website or radio commercial may not be available to you or may have other costs associated with it. To reduce the risk of last minute surprises – work with a reputable local lender.
- Assess Your Needs – Plan For Success
Now it is time to meet face-to-face. An obvious place to start is to go through your needs and wants. What is important to you and your family? How important are schools, commute, home features, feeling of the community? Do you need garage parking, hate stairs, need an in-law suite, a fenced backyard?
Planning the move at this point may seem premature but we need to lay out a realistic timeline up front. Moving into a new home is very exciting – but can also be a very stressful experience. There are many ways to reduce this stress by planning the purchasing process carefully. Timing is important and we will talk through the various options when it comes to closing time-frame, rent-back possibilities and so on.
Tip: Keep an open mind. Your priorities may change as we move through the process of finding a home. What seemed like an unlikely choice when we started out may end up being the dream home you never knew you wanted by the time we have finished!
- Starting The Search
When we start out to look at homes you may have an idea as to what you want. It may be the school, the specific location or similar. You probably have been to some open houses and search online to see what is available. We have obviously helped many purchasers find their new home in the area. Based on our experience and your needs we will do some initial searches and showings to get a better idea as to what you are looking for.
Tip: While you may feel able to find homes online yourself, please be open to our suggestions of homes to look at as well. Based on experience we do know what communities and areas are comparable to others and seeing a home outside your comfort zone may make you re-prioritize.
- Narrowing The Focus
As we see more and more homes and areas, you will start to get a good idea as to what is available in what location and at what price. This realization will firm up the priorities and focus the search towards a few select locations and communities.When we get to this point we are getting ready to make an offer. You may check your email continuously and anxiously be waiting for a new home to be listed on your favorite street. At this point we will set up immediate email alerts – you will get emailed right away when something is listed.
No matter the market – well priced homes in a good condition will sell quickly so it is important to be ready to act fast.Also, as we are ready to purchase – we will look for unlisted homes, for sale by owners and so on at this point.
Tip: Keep in contact with the lender regularly and obtain updated loan approval letters every now and then. Also, if there are any changes in your financial situation make sure to speak to your lender about it. Also – do not purchase a new car or open any lines of credit at this point…
- Making the Offer (and getting it accepted)
When the right home presents itself you will be ready to make an offer. We will have already explained about home inspections, financing and appraisal contingencies, earnest money deposits and so on. We provide you with sold comparables and pricing history, apply that to the specific home and discuss various offer strategies.Based on the knowledge of the market and the process, you will be informed and confident when preparing a strong and irresistible offer to the seller.
Negotiating a real estate purchase is about realizing what is important to both sides of a deal. We are not looking for a win-win – we represent you the purchaser and our job is to get you the best price and terms possible. While terms may be important, the negotiations usually hinges on agreeing on the price in one form or another.
Tip: Making a realistic first offer may get you the home cheaper in the end. By low-balling off the bat you will in some cases put off the seller or invite more back and forth negotiations driving up the price. In some cases - make a reasonable first offer close enough to the sellers bottom line. The seller may not want to take the risk of countering.
- Bringing it Home
Between the contract signing and closing date a flurry of activities will take place. You will have many deadlines and contingencies to worry about so we will keep you appraised throughout the process with status updates and to-do lists to keep everything on track.You may want to compare a few lenders and lock your interest rate, the appraisal and home inspection will take place and you likely also will receive community documents to review for rules and regulations that pertains to the home.
You will be obtaining insurance and may also need to look into things like septic, RPA’s, building permits, flood zones and so on. At his stage you will typically still have multiple points where a renegotiation of the contract is possible.And we didn’t even deal with the packing, moving and preparation of the new home…
Tip: If you are selling and purchasing at the same time, we have a great strategy that will allow you to stay for a while in your old home even after it is sold for a limited time. This allows you to make sure your old home is sold before purchasing the new one and also gives you more time to move.
- Closing The Deal
Until everyone has signed on the dotted line the home is not yours. The last few days can be emotionally taxing as surprises sometimes to pop up at that time. Most can be avoided through being proactive and inqusistive earlier in the process, however things do happen from time to time. Typical issues would be changes to the condition of the home (new water leaks), loan changes or last minute title issues (unreleased liens, survey encroachements or easements) or contract breaches (forgotten promised repairs etc.)
Having an experienced professional on your side at that time can make an otherwise dealbreaker seem like a small bump in the road.
Tip: Work on getting the HUD-1 as early as possible to review loan charges. Also, makes sure the survey and title work is completed early so there is time to resolve any issues.
- Your Realtor For Life
After settlement you may still need help tying up loose ends. We work with all types of contractors and can recommend dependable and reasonably priced ones. As we own and operate a separate property management company, we are well aware of how to deal with various maintenance issues and contractors.
Most of our business is repeat business, and we keep in touch with our clients regularly to see how they are doing. We also learn a great deal from their homeowner experience.
Ready to get started?
CNN ran a story today about the return of the pocket listings in hot housing markets. With the market being as hot as it is in Northern Virginia buyer agents use all the tricks they know to find properties not listed in the MRIS.
I wrote a story about pocket listings last year ( Does A Pocket Listing Line Your Pocket ) and why they are almost always a bad idea for sellers:
A typical seller will be put at a monetary disadvantage by not exposing the home to as many purchasers as possible from the start. By the law of supply and a demand, a pocket listing would on average sell for less than one that was available for all to see and make an offer on. In my view a general pocket listing policy by a real estate brokerage a-la “we only allow in-brokerage sales of our listings the first 7 days” is unethical. The problem is when it is the listing brokerage that pushes for the pocket listing for their own gain – a pocket listing initiated by a client (for whatever reason) I don’t really see any issue with.
Are there times when I sell unlisted properties myself? Sure. Typically I will be representing a purchaser and I find a property not listed for sale yet and make an offer on behalf of the purchaser I represent. When I represent a purchaser my goal is to find them the best property at the best price – as long as I am honest in my dealings I have no problem with a seller getting less than they would on the open market.
Pocket listings in the “normal” price ranges in our area are not that common. There are other avenues to find unlisted homes for sale though.
If you are looking to buy or sell and want the best possible price, please contact us!
We just listed a great contemporary townhome in Reston for sale. This is not your typical narrow and dark townhome – this one has large windows throughout and an open floor plan that lets in a lot of light.
With 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths the home is a lot larger than it looks from the outside with over 2,000 sq/ft of total space. There are two yards, one landscaped front yard off the rec room and one rear yard off the living room.
The home is located in the Hillcrest Cluster in Reston. The community has about 170 homes with great green spaces and tot lots. A pool and tennis courts are nearby as well.
Don’t forget to stop by our open house on Sunday 3/17/2013 from 1-4pm.
More information: 11138 Saffold Way, Reston, VA 20190 (MLS # FX8030673)
If you are used to calling up an agent at random to see a home you found online you now have to jump through one extra hoop. Unless you are calling up the listing agent directly you are now required in most instances to have a written agreement for another real estate agent to show you a home. Prior to July 2012 it wasn’t so – you could call up an agent and ask to see a home – and in many cases that agent would be ok with taking you to a home hoping that you would use him/her to make an offer if you liked the home.
Not anymore. On July 1, 2012 a new Virginia law went into effect that requires an agent and a buyer that has agreed to work together to solidify that relationship in writing. The aim is to clarify the obligations of each party to the transaction and must include a list of services the agent will deliver, compensation terms and a definite end date.
Customers do not have to use an agent – they can still call up the listing agent of a property directly to see and make an offer on the home. They could then proceed as an unrepresented purchaser (usually a bad idea) or use the listing agent in a dual agency capacity (definitely a bad idea…)
The Virginia Association of Realtors had specific reasons for supporting and asking for the new law:
- It informs the consumer. The law is to make sure consumers are fully informed about the real estate services they’ll receive and the nature of the relationship with the licensee.
- It mitigates REALTOR® liability. The law is designed to protect licensees by making sure full disclosure is provided and the nature of brokerage relationship is reduced to writing. It’s to eliminate much of the consumer confusion that can come back and bite the licensee.
- It discourages opportunistic dual agency. The law is intended to make sure that licensees who practice dual agency are fully informing consumers about the risky nature of that relationship.
So, does this mean that you have to “get married” to an agent before really knowing him/her? While practices vary from firm to firm, at Soldsense we are perfectly comfortable with doing a short initial 2 day buyer agreement to get to know each other. You would commit to use us to find a property only for that short time (if we find a home during those two days that you like you would commit to let us represent you.)
Please see our 5 Reasons We Rock for Buyers!
Tysons Corner is bustling these days with the completed HOT Lane, Silver Line metro nearing completion and the Tysons West and Walmart. Many new communities will now be within walking distance to the metro for the first time – Fountains at McLean is one of them.
The number of sales in 2012 were slightly up from 2011 at the Fountains at McLean.
The prices are still struggling to recover from the high in 2005. While prices have been pretty stable from 2008/2009 they have not been able to appreciate yet. The average price for a 1-bedroom at the Fountains at McLean remains in the low $200′s (up from 2011 but within the typical range from the last few years.) The average 2-bedroom price went up a little bit but the average 2 bedroom price has been remarkably stable the last few years.
The average rent keeps going up at the Fountains at McLean.
The sales mix seems to have improved from last year with just two short sales and no foreclosures.
A continuing concern at the Fountains is that the investor ratio has been high (number of non-owner occupants.) Lenders are hesitant to give loans in developments where this rate is too high (generally 50% and over.) It seems to now have reached a level where purchasers typically need a 20% down payment to qualify for a mortgage. FHA loans with 3.5% down-payment seems to be unavailable in the community at this time.
UPDATE 3/1/2013: as the commenter below mentions, the demand for condominiums in Tysons Corner outweights the supply by far these days. This includes units at the Fountains at McLean. Units listed usually sell in a few days and with multiple offers. Hopefully this will result in a steady price appreciation of units for 2013. In 2013 a couple of 1br units have sold – one at $238k and one at $265k (that had something like 8 offers on it.) In 2012 the minimum price was $210,000 and the maximum sold price was $240,000, with an average of $218,889. While that is up from 2011 it is pretty much in line with 2010 prices.
The Fountains at McLean is a great neighborhood with reasonable prices that would make a wonderful home. If you would like to discuss selling or purchasing (5 Reasons We Rock For Buyers!), please give us a call at 703 560-3424 or contact us.
There was an ok level of activity in Woodburn Village in 2012 with 22 sales. Last year there were a total of 28 sales - hence a little bit less sales volume.
A great piece of news is that the number of distressed sales keep going down. In 2009, only 23% of the sales were normal sales, in 2010 33%, in 2011 57% of the sales were normal and this year about 70% are regular sales. That is great news for the owners and the community – and prices do seem to have started going up!
The inventory is very low at Woodburn Village and homes sell very quickly. Please click here to see what is currently for sale at Woodburn Village.
To get a better understanding of the overall price development in the neighborhood, please see below graph.
As can be seen from the above the average sales prices seem to have bottomed out in 2009. The two bedrooms in particular have seen a steady increase each year since 2009. The average one bedroom price went down a bit last year due to a low volume of two units and one of them being a small and not so desirable model. The typical market price for a regular 1 bedroom unit is likely more in the mid to upper $120’s.
Moving on to rentals the rental prices jumped again last year. The volume is a bit lower, just 16 units rented in 2012 in the MRIS versus 20 last year.
For investors the GRM has stayed pretty much the same since 2008 (price vs rent ratio.)
Woodburn Village is a great neighborhood and the prices have been stable for the last couple years. Coupled with the low interest rates and increasing rents this is an excellent time to buy. If you would like to discuss selling or purchasing at Woodburn Village please give us a call or contact us online.
Broker, Soldsense Realty LLC
“Your sixth sense in real estate”
Disclaimer: The data above is not guaranteed in any way and may contain errors and omissions and is based on MRIS data only. The analysis is my opinion only – always do your own research.
The market in Fairfax County Virginia is doing great in 2012. The number of transactions are down slightly for 2012 keeping inventory low in most areas. The prices have held up well and increased some in many areas thanks to low interest rates and good employment opportunities.
A lot of the attention in real estate has been towards distressed sales the last few years. While foreclosures and short-sales never really ruined the market in Fairfax County, some local areas did see values decimated by distressed sales after the 2006 real estate crash.
The worst seem to be behind us in Fairfax County. In 2009 a whole 34% of sales in Fairfax County were distressed. The percentage has decreased ever since and this year it seems that we may end up with a proportion of distressed sales at half that (about 17%.)
More regular sales, strong labor market and low inventory would normally mean rising prices. While prices are inching upwards in many places, reluctant and conservative appraisers are keeping a lid on rapid appreciation in many communities. Some will say that is a good thing after what happened during the boom years.
The sales prices at the Gates of McLean continued their upward trend in 2012. With the new Silver Line McLean Metro stop scheduled for completion in December 2013 the community desirability is great and the community remains very popular with homeowners and investors. One of our 1 bedroom listings at the Gates of McLean had 6 offers – almost all above asking price and 5 out of 6 were by investors. It ended up selling for above the asking price. It is clear that people believe there will be price and rent appreciation in the Tysons Corner area with all the new development (apart from the metro station.)
There were 24 homes sold in 2010 and 22 homes sold in 2011. In 2012 24 homes sold. The average sales price increased by $5,000-$10,000 for most of the models.
The number of distressed sales has kept pretty stable. In 2009 about 40% of the sales were foreclosures or short sales. In 2012 we are down to less than half of that (4 out of the 24 sales were a short sale or a foreclosure.)
If you have negative equity in your home and you are considering a short-sale or a foreclosure (or you just don’t know what to do), please contact us. We have successfully closed short sales at the Gates of McLean and will be happy to talk to you.
To get a better understanding of the overall price trend at the Gates of McLean we will first look at some specific models. The Danielle model (1br), Dalton model (2br) and the Christine model (3br) are three popular models that usually have at least a few sales every year. I put together a graph showing sales of those models below.
Prices held up well in 2012. The average sales price trended downwards until the 2008-2009 – then the prices stabilized and started to increase slowly again. Based on our experience at the Gates of McLean, multiple offers is commonplace and getting a high offer price is not usually a problem. The things holding back the prices are conservative appraisals and the limited financing options available.
The limited financing is caused by the high investor ratio at the Gates of McLean. Due to the number of rental units, finding a lender to finance a purchase often proves challenging (with many demanding a 20% or higher down payment.) Requiring that amount of down payment eliminates a lot of first time purchasers that would normally use FHA loans(that requires only a 3.5% down payment.)
The number of units renting each year is on the rise still. in 2012 there were 67 homes rented out trhough the MRIS. That is 20% more units than in 2011. Despite the increased supply the rents keep increasing. As mentioned earlier, the high proportion of rentals makes it difficult to obtain financing for owner occupants with anything less than a 20% downpayment.
No homes are currently available for sale at the Gates of McLean. This changes daily, so click here to see what is currently available at the Gates of McLean for sale.
Gates of McLean is a great neighborhood and the prices are on the rise. With the metro coming soon, the Gates of McLean is just getting better and better! If you would like to discuss selling or purchasing at the Gates of McLean please give us a call at 703 560-3424 or contact us.
As part of a broad effort to strengthen the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMI Fund), FHA Commissioner Carol Galante announced a series of changes to be issued this week that will allow the agency to better manage risk and further strengthen the health of the MMI Fund.
“These are essential and appropriate measures to manage and protect FHA’s single-family insurance programs” said Galante. “In addition to protecting the MMI Fund, these changes will encourage the return of private capital to the housing market, and make sure FHA remains a vital source of affordable and sustainable mortgage financing for future generations of American homebuyers.”
Changes to Mortgage Insurance Premiums
FHA will increase its annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) for most new mortgages by 10 basis points or by 0.10 percent. FHA will increase premiums on jumbo mortgages ($625,500 or larger) by 5 basis points or 0.05 percent, to the maximum authorized annual mortgage insurance premium. These premium increases exclude certain streamline refinance transactions.
FHA will also require most FHA borrowers to continue paying annual premiums for the life of their mortgage loan. Commencing in 2001, FHA cancelled required MIP on loans when the outstanding principal balance reached 78 percent of the original principal balance. However, FHA remains responsible for insuring 100 percent of the outstanding loan balance throughout the entire life of the loan, a term which often extends far beyond the cessation of these MIP payments. FHA’s Office of Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs estimates that the MMI Fund has foregone billions of dollars in premium revenue on mortgages endorsed from 2010 through 2012 because of this automatic cancellation policy. Therefore, FHA will once again collect premiums based upon the unpaid principal balance for the entire period for which FHA is entitled. This will permit FHA to retain significant revenue that is currently being forfeited prematurely.
Requiring Manual Underwriting on Loans with Decision Credit Scores below 620 & DTI Ratios over 43 Percent
FHA will require lenders to manually underwrite loans for which borrowers have a decision credit score below 620 and a total debt-to-income (DTI) ratio greater than 43 percent. Lenders will be required to document compensating factors that support the underwriting decision to approve loans where these parameters are exceeded, using FHA manual underwriting and compensating factor guidelines.
Raising Down Payment on Loans above $625,500
Through a Federal Register Notice to be published in the next several days, FHA will announce a proposed increased down payment requirement for mortgages with original principal balances above $625,500. The minimum down payment for these mortgages will increase from 3.5 to 5 percent. This change, coupled with the statutory maximum premiums charged for these loans, will help protect FHA and further facilitate its efforts to encourage higher levels of private market participation in the housing finance market.
Access to FHA after Foreclosure
FHA will step up its enforcement efforts for FHA-approved lenders with regard to aggressive marketing to borrowers with previous foreclosures and remind lenders of their duty to fully underwrite loan applications. New loans must meet all FHA guidelines.
Borrowers are currently able to access FHA-insured financing no sooner than three years after they have experienced a foreclosure, but only if they have re-established good credit and qualify for an FHA loan in accordance with FHA’s fully documented underwriting requirements. It has come to FHA’s attention that a few lenders are inappropriately advertising and soliciting borrowers with the false pretense that they can somehow “automatically” qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage three years after their foreclosure. This is simply not true and such misleading advertising will not be tolerated.
Moreover, FHA will work with other federal agencies to address such false advertising by non-FHA-approved entities. Finally, as discussed in its Annual Report to Congress, FHA is also committed to structuring a new housing counseling initiative that would apply to a number of borrower classifications, including borrowers with previous foreclosures.
Continuing Effort to Improve Risk Management
The changes announced this week will further contribute to the efforts made throughout the Obama Administration’s tenure to improve risk management at FHA and protect the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. Because of these commitments, the changes made at FHA over the past four years have already added more than $20 billion in value to the MMI Fund.
According to the National Association of Realtors 9 percent of home buyers received a loan from a friend or
relative in 2010. By borrowing money from parents, both parents and children may end up with a good deal. The
parents may get a better return on their investment and the child may get a similar or better interest rate as well as lower closing cost.
One downside to “parent financing” is that the parent is taking a risk – the child may loose his or her job and be unable to pay on the loan. The parent may feel hesitant to foreclose on their own children (and maybe grandchildren.) It may therefore be wise for parents to apply the same criteria as a bank would when qualifying their child for the loan. Also, loan documents should be prepared and recorded spelling out the terms and conditions of the loan.
To avoid extra taxes parents will want to structure the loan with a “market interest rate” and terms.
There may be other benefits to parent financing – you may be able to forgive a certain annual amount of the loan every year ($13,000 depending upon your situation) to reduce inheritance taxes in the future.
For more information look at the article at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/05/business/businessspecial5/05MORTGAGE.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
To pay for the extensive walkability upgrades planned in Tysons Corner the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to create a special Transportation Service District last week. It is estimated the new tax will generate $250 million for area improvements over the next 40 years.
As of now, the tax rate is set to take effect in January 2014 and will apply to both residential and commercial property. It has been estimated that the rate may be 6 to 8 cents per $100 assessed value. The tax district will only be for owners of residential and commercial property in the Tysons Corner area (presume the 22102 and 22182 zipcodes.)
There is opposition to the tax, especially from residential residents that believe that either a) all county residents should pay as the improvements will benefit more than just the residents, or b) Residential properties should be exempt.
Fairfax County seems sympathetic to excluding residential from the new tax as the share of revenue that would be generated from residential properties would be small. State law may prohibit such differential treatment of residential vs commercial so a special bill has been proposed that may make an exception in this case.
To me it seems fair to exclude residential homeowners in this case – the commercial landowners will benefit the greatest from the improvements in the heavily developed areas of Tysons Corner. The majority of residential areas in Tysons will see little direct benefit.